Right then, where were we? I’m realizing that, given the long and travel-rich future in store for Kat and me, I may need to develop some different blogging habits. Traveling alone, days end relatively early, giving plenty of time for blogging. Traveling with another, dinners last longer, night-time strolls are a bit more leisurely, and the blogging gets postponed! (for the record, I’ll take traveling with another)
So, Tuesday then.
San Marco! Perhaps my favorite place in Florence, and a new experience for Kat. The key to enjoying San Marco is to get there early in the morning, before the tour busses arrive. Then you’re guaranteed to have at least a few of the rooms to yourself. San Marco is a monastery complex. The core of the site is the cloisters. Fra’Angelico painted a single fresco in each, for the monks to reflect on and study in solitude. It’s a space that is immediately calming and reflective, away from the noise of the city and timeless.
If you’re going to Florence, San Marco is a must-visit site as far as I’m concerned.
From San Marco, we went to the Duomo – specifically, the basement of the duomo. It was another “you have to see this!” site (as in, me exclaiming to Kat), because I think it gives you a great sense of the history of the city – the old church under the new church, the proto-Christian church under that, and the Roman mosaics under that.
On this trip, we’ve been enjoying the free Rick Steves audio tours available through his iPhone app. We made use of one while checking out Orsanmichele, a church with a fascinating history and many easy-to-miss features. Plus, we’re Rick Steves fanboys…
Finally on Tuesday, we hit the Bargello. In this case, I played tour guide and read the Rick Steves printed guide in my best tour group voice. It was sad that we couldn’t see Donatello’s wooden Mary Magdalene on Monday, but at least we could see his bronze David – a far cry from Michelangelo’s.
Tuesday ended with a wonderful dinner with friends, which thankfully happened in spite of my Italian-esq logistical confusion. It was inspirational.